Friday, April 9, 2010

Yoga Time

One of the things that makes me happy (and there are many) about moving to my new apartment in the East Village is that my favorite yoga studio, Yoga to the People, is literally right around the corner.  When I lived in Washington Heights I didn’t take yoga enough because it took me forever to get to class. But now that this studio is a hop, skip, and a jump from my new digs, I won’t have an excuse!  Today I took a class for the first time in months and within the first 5 minutes, I knew that ‘Sore Sally Rado’ would be my new name for the next couple days.

Here’s why Yoga to the People is the place I dig the most: It’s a donation-based studio and has locations in NYC and California. The recommended donation is $10/class, but if you can’t afford the 10 smackers, just pay what you can – in no way can anyone complain they can’t afford this place.  But the downside to this is that the classes often are pretty packed, meaning you might be closer to someone’s ‘downward dog’ than you’d like.  Try to get cozy, though, because the studio is pretension-free and everyone is there to do yoga, not schmooze around or look cute in yoga pants.  It’s a place to work, have fun and let it all hang out!

The teachers at YTTP rock my socks and they always remind students that yoga is meant to be enjoyed. Yoga can be hard, especially when you are taking a Vinyasa Flow Class. In case you aren’t up on your yoga terms, Vinyasa yoga involves the teacher instructing you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale.  It can go very quickly and there isn’t a lot of time for rest, so it requires focus.  All classes at YTTP are flow classes and last 1 hour – many other studios host classes that last for an hour and a half.  I don’t know about you, but I’m busy – I love that I can get my yoga finished in just one hour.

The best thing about yoga (for me) is the mind/body connection.  I enjoy most types of exercise, but yoga is a step beyond.  It pushes me in a way that no other workout can, both mentally and physically.  You won’t know what I mean until you try it yourself.  If YTTP doesn’t sound like your thing or you don’t live close to a studio, find a place that works for you.  If you don’t live in NYC, check Yelp to find studios in your area.)  Also, try different types of yoga and see what you connect to most.  There’s Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Iyengar, Bikram, and probably more, but I’m just a ‘once in a while’ kinda yoga gal, so I’m not as up on my yoga as I could be.

What I do know is that if you haven’t taken yoga before, you should definitely give it a whirl.  I promise that while it will challenge you in ways that you didn’t know were possible, you will still leave feeling centered and calm.

On that note, Namaste and Be Well!

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